Program Schedule

APRIL 20, 2018

8:30 - 8:45 // Welcoming remarks - Pastries & Coffee

9:00 - 9:30 // Keynote Speaker 1

9:45 - 10:30 // Environmental Policy

10:45 - 11:30 // Local Activism

11:30 - 12:30 // Break - Refreshments, Networking & Performance

12:45 - 1:30 // Land and Ocean Conservation

1:45 - 2:30 // Sustainability in Business

2:30 - 3:15 // Networking & Snacks

3:30 - 4:00 // Keynote Speaker 2

4:00 - 4:15 // Closing Remarks


Each Panel: 45 minutes

Lunch Hour Break: 1 hour

Refreshments provided for guests

Campus lunch options available for purchase 

12:30 Raffle tickets no longer sold

12:30 – 12:45 Performance

12:45-12:50 Raffle winners announced

1:00 Jump into next panel


Networking: 45 mins

3:00 – 3:30 Raffle tickets sold

3:30 – 3:45 Performance

3:45 – 3:50 Raffle winner announced

4:00 Closing Keynote Speaker begins

Keynotes & Panelists



ANDREW CALLAWAY ELLIS, Biologist & Chair of Los Angeles Climate Reality Project

Our opening keynote speaker, Andrew Ellis, will be updating the audience on our current state of the

environment, which was the SSC's inspiration for hosting the 1st annual State of the Environment Conference.

This speech will aid the audience in understanding the imperative nature of adopting sustainability as a new

standard for living in all aspects. 


Mr. Ellis began his environmental science career investigating and characterizing EPA Superfund sites as

an industrial hygienist (chemist), specializing in hazardous materials.  Andrew subsequently worked for many

years in the insurance industry evaluating property and occupational risks, mostly for Japanese automotive

clients. Andrew’s scientific education includes an undergraduate degree in Microbiology from The University of

Texas at Austin and a Master of Science degree from California State University – Northridge in 2007

in Conservation Biology and Plant Ecology.  Andrew’s current research interests are devoted to the study of

Paleobotany and Dinosaur Ecology.


Andrew became interested in climate science while finishing his graduate program with an examination of the effects of how climate change has influenced plant community structure in the Paleozoic Era.  He subsequently trained with Former Vice President Al Gore in Chicago in 2013, and is a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corp and serves as Chair of the Los Angeles Chapter, responsible for leader development and chapter environmental activities.  Andrew has presented The Climate Reality Project slide show many times to a number of community groups, high school students, environmental organizations and religious congregations.   He also serves as the Chair of the Los Angeles Chapter of The Climate Reality Project and directs the activities of over 100 climate leaders engaged in five climate campaigns to legislate solutions to the climate crisis by:


·   Transitioning our economy to 100% renewable energy    

·   Promoting community solar projects    

·   Passing anti-fracking bills 

·   Placing a price on carbon (cap and trade)   

·   Achieving our Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)

He has been been working for over a decade on issues surrounding climate education and legislative lobbying to raise awareness about global warming and the risks associated with climate change.  

AARON TAYLOR, Sustainability Consultant

Our closing keynote speaker, Aaron Taylor, will be inspiring guests with personal, global stories of

sustainability successes and communities that make massive impact. Aaron will present food for thought,

so all attendees feel they are leaving with tips and inspiration for living a lifestyle that supports the

betterment of their lives, their families' lives, and their communities' lives.


Aaron Taylor was born in Redondo Beach, California and was drawn to the ocean at an early age.

He quickly began to ask environmental impact questions like, what constitutes clean water?

In 8th grade he conducted a science experiment on ocean water run-off, his ocean water samples were

incubated and analyzed for bacterial growth. This experiment won him the environmental award for the

Los Angeles area. This simple question sparked Aaron‘s passion for our environment impact.


While he was studying physics in College, he was also volunteering for a non-profit called Rerip, an organization that recycles and repurposes used surfboards while encouraging sustainable options for surf industry manufactures. After graduating with a degree in Physics, Aaron started to travel to places like Bali and Thailand where he quickly realized the impact that our 1st world business practices and surf industry problems have on 3rd world infrastructure. Seeing plastic in the waterways, no proper waste management system and local residences burning carcinogenetic materials unknowingly. Working with Reef Check in Thailand he surveyed actual effect on environmental and human impact on Reefs. As a certified Eco Diver, he could compare the quantitative difference of healthy and dangerously depleted underwater ecosystems.


It seemed that everything we have been making and using has been causing the ocean harm. How do we shift our practices and create products that have positive impact? Upon his return the Odina brand was launched, divine creative inspiration, working with only organic and recycled materials. Developing products that are made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled fishing-nets, we can eliminate the single use products that are destroying our Oceans.


Instagram: @aarontaylorcreates


The Local Activism panel will highlight a variety of topics that organizations have been advocating for and protesting against during the new administration. Discussion will focus on the processes behind non-profit & civic engagement, and various goals that local activists can strive for in their own communities. This panel will look at personal anecdotes and projects of the speakers, and their opinions on impacts of local activism in this country.


Ryan Serrano, Owner and Operator of Earth Steward Ecology, Long Beach
Ryan Serrano is a ca native plant and edible landscape designer. his specialties include permaculture design, developing social spaces, water efficient irrigation systems, and non-permanent building methods. much of his time is spent volunteering in the community as a member of the non-profit organization sustainable initiatives and as a founding member and volunteer with the organization foodscape long beach. he holds a ba in liberal arts from CSULB, a permaculture design certificate, and teaches workshops and lectures on topics related to urban ecology and sustainability.  Earth Steward Ecology - Ryan Serrano

Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennet, Founders of Dream Team Directors
Writer/Director/Producers Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett have had the opportunity to collaborate, direct and produce inspiring social impact projects with great talents such as Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo, Coldplay, viral sensation, Lindsey Stirling, non-profits City Harvest, Teen Cancer America and more. In addition to their credits on Peter Byck's feature documentary, "Carbon Nation" which offered solutions to global warming, they recently collaborated with Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo documentary and his Hollywood United non-profit on anti-fracking campaign fighting for low-income populations abused by oil and gas facilities.

Claire Robinson, Founder & Managing Director of Amigos De Los Rios
Claire Robinson is an original founder and has served as Managing Director of 501©3, Amigos de Los Rios, ‘the Emerald Necklace Group’ since 2003. Her multi-disciplinary background in art & design, higher education, sustainable city planning and social venture business has led to the unique success of Amigos in catalyzing a collective impact coalition of agencies, planning and developing a culturally relevant Emerald Necklace Green Infrastructure Network for East LA County. She has a Bachelors from Cooper Union-NYC, an MBA from UCLA Anderson School, and studied European Cities at the University of East London. She has mentored over 150 women and designers of color into a field of sustainable city planning and design as Green Infrastructure fellows at Amigos. Claire serves a member of the national Metropolitan Greenspace Alliance, USDA National Urban Forestry Advisory Council, and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Community Collaborative and an advisory board member for the LA Urban Forest Center. Under her leadership  - the non- profit has empowered communities to engage in urban greening and completed over 35 successful multi-objective projects that demonstrate to agencies the benefits of green infrastructure to protect environmental justice, public health, and environmental resources.

Elliot Gonzalez, Long Beach Sustainable City Commission & Stop Fracking Long Beach Org.

Our Urban Paradise



The Sustainability in Business panel will highlight a variety of sustainable business models. Discussion will focus on the road to implementing sustainability standards in business, and a big vision for the future of sustainability in business. This panel will look at personal experiences and practices of the speakers, and their opinions on how to conduct conscious business.


Micahel Bohn, Senior Principal & Design Director of StudiONEleven
As senior principal and design director with over 25 years of experience, Michael Bohn AIA, is responsible for both architectural, landscape and urban design within Studio One Eleven. Michael led the firm’s recent office relocation to an empty storefront in an overlooked area of downtown Long Beach. The office is both WELL Gold and LEED Platinum accredited, the first architectural firm on the west coast to receive this recognition. Adjacent to the office, Michael is working on a new 865-bed student housing project for CSULB that will include classrooms, an Innovation Hub and University Art Museum. His practice is focused on creating vibrant, sustainable and equitable communities. He believes complete streets, urban farming, adaptive reuse and affordable housing contribute to developing resilient cities. Michael is a licensed architect, earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo studied art in Fontainebleau France and worked for the British Institute on an archeological site in Hampi India.

Tom Bowman, President of Bowman Change, Inc.
Tom Bowman is the founder of the awarding-winning creative firm, Bowman Design Group, and founder and CEO of Bowman Change, Inc., a communications consultancy focused on sustainability and environmental challenges. Tom combines academic training in social ethics with thirty years of experience in business ownership, marketing communications, and informal science education. He contributes strategic communication consulting and creative services to Fortune 1000 corporations, start-ups, cultural institutions, NGOs and government agencies. His clients and projects have been recognized with White House Champions of Change, Buckminster Fuller Challenge, and other prestigious honors. Under his leadership, Bowman Design Group received a Cool California Small Business of the Year Award for demonstrating a repeatable model for slashing GHG emissions while saving money. The firm also earned APEX/ASTM and the international FAMAB sustainability certifications in the exhibition industry. Bowman is the author of The Green Edge and a frequent public speaker who has appeared on NPR’s Marketplace, CNN’s Local Edition and in leading publications such as Time, the New York Times, Science, Yale Environment 360 and others.

Noam Krasniansky, Co-Founder of Bambooee

Shark Tank Eco-Entrepreneur, Noam Krasniansky, co-created Bambooee over 6 years ago in an effort to change the world. At the time only 7% of the Brazilian rain forest remained, and on a kitchen table Noam and his wife Irene decided that they will not longer use paper towels- a product that was made from wood pulp, that was wasteful and completely ecologically unsustainable. “At the rate we are cutting trees, there will not be any trees left in 100 years” Noam says. “We had to do something about it. We were successful at creating and marketing products, but we did not want to wait till we were old to become philanthropic. We wanted to do a product that made a difference, allowed people to have a choice and be profitable. We basically wanted to make a difference while we were on the most productive years of our life, and that brought the birth of Bambooee!” They created a product that was eco friendly, sustainable and with a mission. They decided they will plant a tree with every roll of Bambooee sold. To date they have planted over 250,000 trees with their partner Trees for the Future. Meanwhile they have blasted to consciousness of America through Shark Tank and later QVC. They are in Natural food places, hardware stores, and Amazon and odd combination, but that is where sales have taken them. They have been in Costco and Wholefoods. “We have had to innovate or we would have perished”- Noam
says. And now they are stronger than ever. Noam says – “you must keep your Entrepreneurial spirit alive, and follow your every idea, no matter how crazy they are, as your ideas become the realities of tomorrow.”

Renee Moilanen, Air Quality Manager for the Port of Long Beach


The Ocean & Land Conservation panel will emphasize a variety of methods for the conservation of our environment. Discussion will focus on the economic, social, and environmental considerations in the line of conservation, and opportunities for this country to contribute back to its ecosystems. This panel will look at personal projects and practices of the speakers, and their opinions on how organizations and individuals will most successfully grow their conservation efforts.


Ryan Henson, Senior Conservation Director at California Wilderness Coalition
Ryan Henson was born to a logging family in Mendocino County. After serving in the Navy, Ryan graduated with honors with a BA in history and political science from the U.C. Davis in 1993. He began volunteering for CalWild while a student and joined its staff in 1994. After directing the first-ever effort to map all of the state’s wilderness-eligible lands, he helped launch a legislative campaign in 2001 to gain permanent protection for these areas. His greatest achievements to date are the passage of the North Coast wilderness bill (HR 233) in 2006 and the California portions of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. Ryan’s work was recognized in Congress and in the documentary film “Forever Wild.” Ryan lives in Anderson with his wife, Bonnie.

David Bader, Director of Education for the Aquarium of the Pacific
David Bader has a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master’s degree in biology with an emphasis in educational media design from the University of California, Irvine. As the Aquarium’s director of education, Bader develops and manages school and public programs, education department long-term planning and staffing, exhibit development, interpretation training, and grant development. In 2015 Bader became the public engagement project coordinator for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Vaquita SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program. Key areas of his expertise include marine biology, oceanography, interpretation of current ocean science for the public, Vaquita Conservation, and the biology and ecology of various marine animals, from sharks to sea jellies.

Katherine Sammler, Professor at Cal Maritime
Katherine Sammler, Ph.D. is currently an Assistant Professor at California State University – Maritime after graduating from the School of Geography at The University of Arizona in 2016 with a research focus on oceans & atmospheres via political geography, critical theory & spatial analysis. Marine governance in New Zealand and the broader South Pacific, seabed mining, territorialization of sea, air, and space, political geography, environment and society, Geographic Information Systems, and remote sensing, critical theory, and island/ocean studies and spatial analysis.

Katie Allen, Executive Director of Algalita

Katie Allen is the Executive Director of Algalita Marine Research and Education, the nonprofit credited for sparking the “great plastics awakening” after Founder Captain Charles Moore discovered a plastic pollution accumulation zone in the North Pacific – known by many as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  Since joining the organization, Katie has worked to transform the organization’s reach by igniting an international, youth-led movement fueled thousands of students in over 20 countries. As a Southern California native, Katie loves hiking, music, and spending time in the water with her husband and two sons


The Environmental Policy panel will highlight a collection of recently introduced policies or amendments to existing policies. Discussion will converge on the policies affecting natural resources, land uses, and the quality of our environment as a result of these policies. This panel will look at personal objectives and practices of the speakers, and their opinions on the future impacts that our country’s policy has on our environment.



Justin Ramirez, Legislative Director for Long Beach Mayor Garcia
Justin Ramirez serves as Legislative Director to Mayor Robert Garcia here in Long Beach.  In his role, he advises the Mayor on many issues, including chiefly on sustainability. A native of Long Beach, Justin graduated from LBSU with a degree in Political Science and then earned his law degree from Whittier Law School after serving in the US Peace Corps.

Larry Rich, Sustainability Coordinator for Long Beach Office of Sustainability
Larry Rich is the City of Long Beach’s Sustainability Coordinator. He helped create the Office of Sustainability in 2008 and continues to run it today. Larry has worked for the City of Long Beach since 1991 when he started as an intern in the Economic Development Bureau. Prior to coming to the Office of Sustainability, Larry worked in the Department of Development Services as a Planner in the Long Range Planning Division. Larry has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography with an emphasis in Urban and Regional Studies from California State University, Long Beach. Larry is also a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council.

Monica Argandona, Former Assistant to Legislative Director for Dianne Feinstein & Advisor for Environmental Science & Policy at CSULB
Monica Argandona is currently the Advisor and Professor of Environmental Studies and Policy from CSU Long Beach. She got her Bachelors from the University of Southern California in Film Making before going to CSU Long Beach to get her masters in Anthropology and finished at UC Riverside getting her Ph.D. in Anthropology. She has focused her research on public lands issues, cultural and political ecology, and people’s relationships with the landscape, specifically land conflicts in the Mojave Desert, and food systems. With most of her experience in policy work and teaching, her experience includes being the Assistant to Legislative Director for Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Conservation Director for the California Wilderness Coalition, and the Development Director for Barnhart School. Many of her colleagues describe her as hardworking, inspirational, and respected.

Martin McCarthy, Environmental Lawyer
Martin McCarthy is an attorney in private practice with nearly 20 years experience in the field of environmental law and litigation.  He is a former senior attorney with Lawyers for Clean Water Inc., and a former Assistant Attorney General and Senior Counsel for Environmental Resources in the U.S. Territory of American Samoa.  He has taught environmental law and related courses at several Southern California universities and law schools, and currently teaches Environmental Law & Policy (ESP 300) for the CSULB ES&P program.

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